GOP gears up for global maritime event
Manama, August 23, 2012
The General Organisation of Sea Ports (GOP), the custodian of Bahrain's rich maritime legacy, is gearing up to host the World Maritime Day (WMD) Parallel Event in Bahrain.
Based on the 2012 theme 'IMO: One hundred years after the Titanic', the event will be held on October 17-18. Preparations are underway to organise maritime themed-activities to highlight and showcase developments made in maritime safety over the past 100 years.
This year's theme calls back to the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) very roots and will take stock of the improvements made over the past 100 years in ensuring the safety of life at sea. High-level representatives from the international maritime community are expected to attend the event.
They include IMO Secretary -General Koji Sekimizu, Maritime Safety Committee chairman Christian Breinholt, International Chamber of Shipping secretary-general Commander Peter Hinchliffe, International Association of Classification Societies chairman Tom Boardley, International Association of Independent Tanker Owners managing director Katharina Stanzel and IMO Maritime Safety Division assistant secretary-general and director Andrew Winbow.
The Parallel Event will include a one-day seminar on the first day.
Its first session will address the "100 Years of Safety at Sea" aspect of the WMD theme for the year.
The second session will focus on 'Implementation of Safety Standards'.
The second day will also include a number of visits to key maritime locations within the kingdom, including the state-of-the-art Khalifa Bin Salman Port and Asry, among others.
WMD is an annual initiative launched by the IMO and celebrated every year in London during the last week of September.
In 2005, the IMO Council decided to hold the Parallel Day Event in one of the IMO member states to raise the profile of shipping around the world for additional celebrations.
Bahrain will be the eighth country in the world to host this prestigious event.
Both WMD and the Parallel Event are used to focus on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and the marine environment and to emphasise a particular aspect of IMO's work.
Bahrain pioneered the idea of the Bahrain Maritime Festival in 2010, conceptualising the week-long activity-filled celebration based on the IMO theme for the year or touching directly on the maritime industry.
The festival aims to generate greater awareness of Bahrain's growing achievements and developments and the impact of the maritime industry on daily life and further position Bahrain as a pioneer in the global maritime industry.
"A significant portion of our responsibility as Bahrain's maritime regulator lies in ensuring the safety of everyone who uses Bahrain's waterways in any capacity," GOP director general Hassan Ali Al Majed said.
"This year's theme of safety at sea is therefore of particular importance to us," Mr Al Majed added.
"We are glad to be able to bring our colleagues and peers from around the world to explore both the legacy and the future of safety at sea," he added.
As the maritime regulator, GOP is committed to supporting the IMO's initiatives and adhering strictly to international standards and best practices. It is also committed to promoting and strengthening Bahrain's maritime capabilities as the preferred trans-shipment hub in the region.
GOP also focuses on the development of its maritime and logistics infrastructure.
It is committed to spreading greater awareness about the maritime industry to a broader audience thereby building strategic relationships with industry stakeholders. – TradeArabia News Service